Blizzard Entertainment's first ever shooter, Overwatch has gone from strength-to-strength since its May 2016 release. After the open beta drew in 9.7 million players, a successful launch was clearly on the agenda. Since then, over 20 million players have taken up arms in Overwatch, with an esports league – the Overwatch League – now in the works.
Here’s what our nimble-fingered Games Editor Brett Phipps had to say: "Overwatch shows how Blizzard can wave its magic wand over almost any genre and produced one of the best games in the field.”
The button jammer-in-chief went on: "By bringing iconic heroes into the team-based shooter players immediately became attached and engaged in its solid shooting mechanics. Blizzard has shown it knows how to keep a community interested with frequent updates and new heroes since launch, too.”
We gave Overwatch a 4.5/5 score in our review, praising the game’s inventive and varied action, diverse cast of characters and abilities, and constant surprises. Here was our verdict at the time of review:
“Overwatch is a first-person shooter that oozes personality and charm, but beyond that surface layer lies a deep tactical game where your most powerful weapon is your brain. If, like me, you’ve fallen out of love with online first-person shooters, play Overwatch long enough for it to deliver one of its many standout moments and you’ll be renewing your vows in no time.”
Then there’s Firewatch, which bagged Indie Game of the Year at the TrustedReviews Awards 2016.
Firewatch is a first-person adventure game that follows a fire lookout in the Shoshone National Forest, and was developed by little-known studio Campo Santo. Here’s what our Deputy Editor Andy Vandervell had to say:
“Firewatch is beautiful, mysterious, and grips you right until the very end. It’s a great example of how games don’t need AAA studios and massive budgets to impress; it’s simply a matter of having a great idea, and executing it cleanly. That’s where Firewatch succeeds, and why it’s well deserving of Indie Game of the Year."
We gave Firewatch a 4/5 score in our review, talking up the game’s mood and atmosphere, beautiful wilderness setting, gripping story, and excellent music, script, and acting. Here’s our verdict from the time of review:
“As a piece of interactive fiction…it’s rich, gripping, beautiful, and haunting. A powerful slow burner, smouldering beneath the surface, it establishes Campo Santo as a studio to watch.”
Watch: Overwatch gameplay
Who do you think should have won this award? Let us know in the comments.